EL PASO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – El Paso firefighter and paramedic Jared Knotts returned to work Friday for the first time since Saturday’s mass shooting at a Walmart that resulted in 22 deaths and 22 people injured.
Knotts recalled exclusively to CBS 11, the radio dispatch that changed his career and his city forever.
“They requested every unit in the city,” Knotts said. “This was probably going to be one of the biggest responses we would have in the city.”
Knotts’ ambulance was one of the first to get there.
“When we arrived on scene, obviously there was chaos. We had people everywhere. We did arrive to find patients being wheeled on flat bed carts.”
Knotts said he and his partner got to work immediately, tending to a man who’d been shot multiple times.
“We were able to grab him and go.”
The 30-year-old firefighter said he grew up in the neighborhood where the shooting happened and while his training help him tend to the injured, his heart was feeling something very personal.
“I may know someone that we are going to be responding to,” he said. “It was more after the fact realizing that there were so many people that were inside. That we didn’t know had died from their injuries.”
One-hundred and twenty-five El Paso firefighters responded to the attack.
“The entire department between us, every police agency, bystanders, everybody was helping.”
Knotts has a message for everyone directly impacted by the domestic terror attack.
“I’m sorry that this happened to those families. I’m sorry that this happened to this community. EL Paso is a strong community. We will work together to get through this.”
Knotts and his crew had a few days to decompress and clear their heads. Now they are ready to serve their community again.